Monday, January 1, 2007

Random Scuttlebutt About This Year's Market

Questions, Answers, and random thoughts about the job-seeking experience.

232 comments:

1 – 200 of 232   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that this year's market is HUGE, and for Latinists it does seem good thusfar. September's dump was larger than last year's of the same time. Hopefully October, which is usually the biggie, is as good as anticipated...

Anonymous said...

Yup. Latin = Good

I was a bit disappointed by the numbers in the October listings. I thought this was supposed to be THE time that ads generally came out. I really hope November improves things!

Anonymous said...

There's a listing on the Wiki for a T-T Roman History job at Florida State University. Does anyone know where the ad. for this job was placed?

Anonymous said...

RE: Florida State

It is on the September APA listings. Here is the text of it:

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY – TALLAHASSEE, FL
The Department of Classics at the Florida State University seeks to appoint a tenure-track Assistant Professor specializing in the history of the Roman Republic; the successful candidate will also be able to teach Latin prose authors at the graduate level. Our faculty teach four courses per year, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in both traditional and technology-enhanced environments, and supervise PhD and MA students. Candidates must have completed their PhD by July 1, 2008; the position begins August 8, 2008. Starting salary is competitive. Dossiers (including at least three letters of recommendation) and a writing sample (a published article or at least one approved chapter of a dissertation) should be addressed to Search Committee, Department of Classics, 205 Dodd Hall, The Florida State University, Tallahassee FL 32306-1510. Reviews of dossiers begin November 15 and all materials should be received by November 30, 2007. Members of the search committee will conduct interviews at the APA/AIA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The Florida State University is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action employer, committed to diversity in hiring, and a Public Records Agency. Additional information about the department may be found at www.fsu.edu/~classics.

Anonymous said...

Are there classics-related jobs posted anywhere other than the APA site? Does the AHA or MLA list openings?

Anonymous said...

Check H-Net jobs and the Chronicle, sometimes they have useful ones. You can create a search agent on the Chronicle site which emails you regularly about jobs that fit your specific criteria.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
About how many applications, on average, are people sending out? I know there are different schools of thought on how to do this (the shotgun vs. the .22), but I am curious to get some sense of averages, or approaches. Will anybody volunteer their numbers? I am not on the market myself this year (thank God!), but I'd like to have a sense of things for the future.
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm sending out about 15 this year, but that's more selective than I've been in years past -- because I've now got a possibly permanent position, so I'm only looking for better opportunities. Last year I sent out over 30 applications.

Anonymous said...

34 so far, and hopefully a few more once the mid-November APA listings come out.

Anonymous said...

30-40, depending on the Nov 15th listings. Some people send out 50-60 (though I don't know where they find all the ads!).

Anonymous said...

60?! This was a classicist? Were they also applying for comp lit positions?

Anonymous said...

About 25 here, since it is a particularly good market, but I have some geographical constraints. I'm not sure that's the right approach though, since last year I only received interviews from places I was actually a good fit for.

Anonymous said...

Is this a good market? I have no basis for comparison myself. What do people who have paid attention to listings in years past think? I imagine it must be better than the 90s, but it still seems like the pickings are pretty slim overall.

Anonymous said...

It is a bit better than last year's was at this point. It will be interesting to see how many non-tenure-track jobs get shifted to the fall announcements, though. They used to be more of a spring phenomenon, but more and more are being advertised in the fall. If the spring market is dry, then that changes the calculus as to whether the year's market is good or not, obviously.

Anonymous said...

I'm only applying for about 15, but I too have prospects of employment for next year at my current institution already.

I'm curious about interview rates. Do they tend to go up the more experience one gets? Or are there other factors, or is it just a shot in the dark? I know mine went up the year I had my PhD, as opposed to the year I didn't. So I'm curious as to what to expect as more teaching experience accumulates.

archimedes said...

Interview rates do tend to go up after the degree is in hand. But my guess (and this is really only a guess!) is that they plateau after a few years of visiting or adjunct positions.

It would be good for the APA to track this data, but I wouldn't be surprised if one experiences the greatest marketability during the first and second years after receiving the degree. Having never served on a search committee, however, I might be badly out of touch.

Anonymous said...

one of my older colleagues here had the following interview numbers, some time ago: 5-8(had defended diss)-5-5-16(had published book). the 8 and later 5 years were in visiting positions. so i think archimedes is onto something about a plateau, until something breaks the glass ceiling, to mix metaphors.

i think the apa does track how many years from degree people are who get jobs, and yes grad students and visitors get jobs the most, but i don't think the apa distinguishes between t-t jobs and temp jobs in those statistics. also they don't break down number of years out, and the basis for comparison are folk who don't have a job in academia.

archimedes said...

Is anybody else disappointed at the number of jobs advertised in the November APA? I still think it is a very good market, overall, but I had expected more, especially more visiting positions, in this issue. Rats!

Anonymous said...

Wait for January and February for the visiting positions. Everyone in my department last year got positions advertised in the Jan/Feb round.

Anonymous said...

In reply to the number of applications being sent out.

I have sent out 41 so far. I assume the fall market is done, and I sincerely hope that I do not have to deal with the spring market!

Anonymous said...

I actually don't think the market is all that great for Latinists this year. Many of the jobs (more than last year) are for generalists and very many for historians. Because there are so many generalist positions, that means the competition will probably be tougher for each job.

Sir Arthur Evans said...

Does anybody else find the wiki comment under the Berkeley Nemea Project Director odd? What does it mean that "Inside Candidate assured position"?

This seems crazy, and unlikely to be advertised if at all true. What's going on here? Can the commenter respond, or somebody in the know add anything to this? This is very frustrating to read, but at the same time I am tempted to disregard it as absolutely false.

Anonymous said...

To sir arthur evans:

There is certainly an inside candidate for the Berkeley Nemea Job. This job is simply a permanent version of the temporary version they hired three years ago. As to whether or not it's true that this person has been *assured* the position - I'm not in the loop enough to know/say (I didn't add the comment to the job wiki page), but I do know that said candidate has done very well in her time there, and is popular with faculty as well as students (grad and undergrad)

Anonymous said...

RE: Berkeley/Nemea position. I didn't post it, don't know if it's true, and the phraseology is odd, but I think it is very likely to be true: they may well have decided just to renew the contract of the present holder of the position, who by all accounts has done well.

Unless/until someone gets an interview request or direct information otherwise, you can't tell.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about the Nemea comment, but I do find the U-Oregon notice of a "green" interview odd. Does that mean that they prefer a phone interview simply because it will save a tiny amount of airline fuel, and thus keep the planet around just a bit longer? I can't imagine that a phone interview is as good a way of judging potential candidates as a face-to-face meeting. Not that I'm in a position to be hiring anyone, but if I'm ever part of a tenure-track search that could affect my department for decades not only am I flying to the APA, but also I'm flying to wherever the lead candidates live in order to search through their trash and question their neighbors...

Anonymous said...

http://nemeacenter.berkeley.edu/Search2007.html

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about the particular situation at Berkeley, but presumably the most qualified candidate would be someone with lots of experience related to Nemea, i.e. someone who is by definition an insider.

Maybe by law they have to advertise before they can make a hire, so they go through the motions and then decide that the best person to hire is that someone they already know because s/he's been collaborating with them already for some time at Nemea?

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything particular about the position at Berkeley, but I would say that, if the ideal candidate needs a certain familiarity with Nemea, by definition it will most likely be an insider, someone they have already worked with in some capacity.

And then maybe by law they have to go through the motions of having a search before they can hire anyone?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the posting made for the U. Oregon job. What does "Green" interview mean?

Anonymous said...

In line with the last comment, I'd also like to see some remarks on the source behind the comment that the U Penn search committee is concentrating only on Roman Republic Specialists...

Anonymous said...

re berkeley.

yeah this has gotta be bogus. berkeley would get sued faster than it takes me to write this if there is the merest rumor of this happening in fact. there is no way a responsible search could ever even hint that the job search is a sham. they would be in so much legal trouble. not to mention the just plain unethical nature of it. no way the berkeley folks would do this. they are neither stupid nor evil. i think the wiki commenter is clueless as to what this comment means legally. perhaps the inside candidate "thinks" they have job, and they might be the front-runner. it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the end.

Anonymous said...

I am also curious about the Penn search. Was this information conveyed by the committee, or by rumor? Inquiring minds want to know!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Is there any (legal) way that sources of rumors on the wiki could be indicated? Would it be illegal, or terrible, for whoever posted, e.g., the Penn statement to give at least a hint of the source? (like, heard from search committee member; heard because I'm an alum; heard fourth-hand from a faculty member who's not on the search committee; etc.).

The wiki didn't have this problem last year. I think steps should be taken about it.

Anonymous said...

re Berkeley:

Wiki Commenter, defending the assertion that the game is fixed, says:

"How does inviting candidates and going through the motions make this untrue? We'll see."

Fair enough. Point conceded. It might in fact be the case. That said, unless we get a Berkeley SC member to admit as such, there will never be a way to verify it. Even if the current temp gets the job, it doesn't prove the rumor. Unfortunately, the assertion of impropriety stains the search from now on, and by extension the eventual hire. Unfairly, in my mind.

It is ironic that we as classicists aren't as careful about source-criticism in this realm as we are when examining texts.

So, to the one asserting that the fix is in at Berkeley, where have you heard this? Are you the inside candidate, an SC member, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Was the Nemea Center link explaining (kinda defensively, imho) posted in response to the rumor on the Wiki board? Was this part of the original announcement, or a late-breaking addition to the site? Interesting if it is the latter!

Anonymous said...

Re: Oregon "Green" Interview

I posted the info, so I'll comment on it.

The notification came in an email that asked if I was willing to have an interview via video conferencing in the days following the APA. They called this "green", not I, and said this was becoming more common in other fields.

I can see some advantages: it cuts down on pollution; it saves money; and it may allow the committee to interview more candidates.

Anonymous said...

re: Berkeley/Nemea website

The post on the Nemea website was not in response to the wiki rumor. The search committee had not heard the rumor until this afternoon (see post above Nov 29, 7:53 pm).

And others have noted, it would be completely illegal for any search committee member to have made such a promise, and if there was any truth to it, heads would be rolling.

That said, the inside candidate certainly has a good shot at it, but they are looking seriously at all the candidates. This comes directly from the search committee itself, and if people still want to insist that it's a sham, so be it. But it needs to be clarified that no one assured anyone of a tenure-track job.

Anonymous said...

Green screen interview...

Anonymous said...

The Penn rumor is wrong. Its poster should retract it.

Also, this is a great market. The 90s were awful. Unless you believe that the only good market is one with lots of high-paying t-t jobs in your field where YOU want to live, then this is a a wonderful time to be looking for a job.

Anonymous said...

An APA officer told me a few years back that they once did a count on how many candidates considered "internal" or "inside" got the job. He said it ran about 50%, which seems a pretty reasonable number to me, and lower than I thought. I think this suggests that the fix is not automatically in, at Berkeley or anywhere else.

I will also say that I was once involved in a Berkeley search as a candidate till almost the end and it was the most professionally run and fair Classics job search I ever encountered as a job seeker. No other search I've been involved in even comes close. So I don't think either Berkeley or their internal candidate deserves this kind of criticism.

Anonymous said...

Just to make it clear: I haven't seen any posts here that make anything other than positive statements about the 'inside candidate' there. I'm not sure if that person is reading this or not, but if so I think it should be stressed that there is nothing here ad hominem, and that other candidates can express curiosity about the situation without - in so doing - 'besmirching' that job or its final recipient, even if the search committee does decide to go with the person who has been in the position previously.

It is a national search. Every single person who submitted an application is involved in some way or another. If we can't feel free here to question the situation of these searches, what is famae for? If anything, I think *everyone* is to be praised for not making this personal about the candidate.

Anonymous said...

Can this blog site be set so that on its main page it provides the time/date of the most recent post, rather than when the thread was created? It's a waste of time to click on it if there's nothing new, and the only way to know without doing so is to remember what the number of posts was the last time one checked.

Servius said...

"Can this blog site be set so that on its main page it provides the time/date of the most recent post, rather than when the thread was created? It's a waste of time to click on it if there's nothing new, and the only way to know without doing so is to remember what the number of posts was the last time one checked."

Unfortunately, Blogger does not allow this, at least as far as I can tell. If somebody knows how to do this, then leave a comment and I will try to make the fix. It seems like the sort of thing that ought to be part of the system, but if it is, it is very well hidden. Sorry!

Mr. Nobody said...

Can I make a suggestion?

If we are going to comment, then let's choose a pseudonym that we maintain throughout. It would be nice to reply to "people", rather than anonymous at 8:51pm.

Any takers?

Consentius said...

On the topic of f2f vs phone/video interviews, I once read something (I can't find the reference now) that made the interesting argument that f2f interviews were actually not all that useful in hiring and that committees would do just as well to read dossiers carefully and conduct phone interviews. Having been on the hiring side of the equation for a few years now, I agree with this. I certainly enjoy meeting my potential colleagues; but am repeatedly surprised by how little one really learns from APA or on-campus interviews. In my experience, the f2f interview process favors particularly charismatic candidates; or those with particularly well-developed social and performance skills. These are helpful qualities to have in this profession but can sometimes take on too much importance in the final deliberations of a search committee.

katya said...

Dear Administrator,

Can you please delete the second paragraph of the comment I left regarding the Nemea/Berkeley post on Nov 29 2007 7:53 p.m. (or the whole comment, if need be)? I added this information to help quash the rumor, but on further reflection I fear that I overstepped my bounds and may have violated the candidate's right to privacy. It would be greatly appreciated, and I apologize for causing problems. Thank you.

servius said...

Hi Katya,

I have deleted your comment, but only after some consideration. I don't feel comfortable moderating the discussion since, even though I happened to set this space up, I don't consider myself to have any authority in these matters.

Given the nature of your request, I decided that it veered close the the issue of "naming names", which is a bad practice at this point. Because you have asked that your comment be deleted (largely) for the sake of a third party, it seemed reasonable for me to go ahead and do so.

In the future, however, unless comments are abusive, wildly inappropriate, or name applicant names, I will refrain from this sort of intercession.

I suppose I see this page as more wiki-like than blog-like, but given the nature of the beast, hoped it might avoid some of the problems with wiki postings.

For example, I find it troubling that someone has just recently deleted the original Berkeley/Nemea comment, as well as the replies to it, from the wiki. I personally think the original comment was a bad move (regardless of the poster's actual intentions). But I don't think that it is my place to then delete that comment. It happened to start an interesting and potentially beneficial conversation, and it and the responses to it should have been left intact. So I think that the deleter is acting worse than the original transgressor. Now, however, If someone reinserts the deleted conversation on the wiki then it runs the risk of being deleted again, ad infinitum. Starting a deleting war on the Wiki is a terrible, terrible move. It will turn into chaos.

Seeing that sort of behavior on the wikis for other fields is what prompted me to start this blog: as a secure, anonymous site for commenters. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the information you post will remain posted.

I hope this helps, and will try to answer other questions if they are pressing, but at the same time I really do prefer to stay one of the crowd. Best of luck to you all, and let's keep the respectful and encouraging environment going!

Arktoi said...

Is anyone else surprised at the number of places that seem to be circumventing the APA? This is the first time I've followed events on the website, so maybe it's normal?

minerva said...

Does anyone happen to know anything about the Toronto Greek History search? It says "more materials requested" on the wiki.

Anonymous said...

Re: Mr. Nobody's suggestion:

Theoretically, I agree that it would be easier to follow threads if they were not merely a series of Anonymouses.

However, I'm reluctant to do this, because maintaining the anonymity of the posts is really important to me, and it's fairly easy to figure out a number of details about people if you can catalog all their posts.

For instance, let's say that "Robiga" has posted comments on what the market was like last year, disappointment in the number of Latin prose jobs, and a question about whether to wear high heels at the APA. I can deduct from this that Robiga is in her second or third time on the market, is probably female, and is primarily interested in Latin prose. I might also guess from her username that she is interested in Roman religion and/or agriculture.

At that point, I suspect that a fairly cursory search of APA abstracts or of the wiki itself would turn up Robiga's true identity.

Now, obviously, we hopefully all have better things to do than go hunting each other down like this. But I've had friends who were directly asked in their interviews whether they were the author of certain questions about the school on the Chronicle fora, and I don't want to be that person.

I'm sorry, Mr. Nobody, but I'd rather remain an anonymous voice piping up at the back of the crowd, who you may or may not have heard from before.

Good luck not going crazy over the next three weeks, everyone!

Drusilla said...

Regarding Berkeley/Nemea Center:

Here is the conversation that was deleted from the wiki. I'll make a note on the wiki as well, directing where to find this in case people are wondering where it is. I'm not the one who deleted it, but I do agree with servius that this deletion sets a bad precedent, so hopefully this move will short-circuit that potentiality.

1) Inside Candidate assured position

2) This is absolutely not true (Berkeley source); in other news, they are interviewing 9 candidates, and inviting 3 or 4 to campus.

3) How does inviting candidates and going through the motions make this untrue? We'll see.

4) That's not what makes it not true. What makes it not true is that the search committee has refuted it. See the discussion in famae volent.

Anonymous said...

Re: circumvention of the APA

I noticed this as well and do not remember seeing as much of it in the two previous years I've been on the market.

The APA of course has no real jurisdiction over the way schools handle their job searches. But the placement service exists for a reason, namely to have the job-search process centralized. I'm worried that when schools ask for pre- or post-APA telephone or video-conference interviews, or jump straight to on-campus interviews, things become harder for all of us on the market. Getting hyped up for two days of convention interviews in early January is emotionally-draining enough. But to have to do it in December, in January, and again in February increases the strain on us applicants.

While I am no fan of the way the APA does things, I am more worried about having every school march to its own drummer.

sam said...

The most recent anonymous points to a serious problem. The APA Placement Service has no authority to enforce its own rules. A post in "Past Performance" elsewhere on the blog reports that job apps aren't supposed to be due until Nov. 15: so why are we all scrambling to do them in October?

Last year a friend of mine tried to file a complaint about an interviewer with the APA. The Placement Service told her that what they do for complaints is send a letter to the search committee in question and basically remind them "candidates are people too." That is about as much as use as a hole in the head.

Julius said...

Dear Minerva,

The U-Toronto request was for as much of the in-progress dissertation as was ready. I assume whoever posted that comment on the wiki received a similar request.

As for anonymity, one can always choose a different nickname for posts on unrelated themes.

The Old Oligarch said...

The anonymous poster who wishes to remain anonymous has a good point about how it might be possible to determine people's identities. For the record, I'm going to call myself "The Old Oligarch" simply because it sounds much cooler than "Brutus" or "Alcibiades" or "Sappho." And "Ragin' Cajun" already belongs to James Carville.

I'm the one who earlier questioned the wisdom of "green" interviews. I admit that video-conferencing hadn't occurred to me, but I still think that the best way to tell how good someone will be involves meeting them. And yes, charismatic people tend to do better in interviews -- but aren't they also the better teachers? Sure, we've all had some outstanding professors who were on the shy and quiet side, but the ones who draw the undergrads are the charismatic ones. And if I'm a department chair, I'm looking for personality as well as quality of scholarship. Even if much of academia isn't.

The Old Oligarch said...

Small correction: I meant to write that I'd be looking for teaching ability AND personality, not just research.

theoryman said...

The real problem with schools circumventing the APA is that it puts everyone on a different time line.

If you apply for jobs A, B, and C, and you get a pre-conference interview with A and conference interviews with B and C (you had a good year!), then A invites you as a finalist and offers you the job before B and C (for which, for the sake of argument, you are also a finalist-- yes!) can finish their search and make an offer, if you are more interested in B or C than A, you're in a really tight position-- you'll have to decide to accept or decline A without knowing your prospects for B and C.

I realize that this probably doesn't happen to most of us mere mortals who would be happy just to get one decent job offer, but the point is, the schools that interview early often do it on purpose to limit the choice of the candidate.

In other words, I think it's definitely a bad trend, and it's too bad the APA can't do anything about it!

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell, complaining to the APA about abuses doesn't serve much purpose, and also complaining to the APA *about* the placement service is even more useless. Especially since the final questionnaires for evaluating the service aren't anonymous.

I guess blessed is this blog. Sign me anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I have a comment about the possibility that more committees are skipping the APA. This is part rumor and part hypothesis, so take it with a grain of salt.

I was talking to a colleague who is chairing a committee this year. He had just read an email from another committee chair. Anyway, he told me that there were so many jobs out there that committees were getting worried about landing a top candidate.

It just occurred to me that maybe some committees are accelerating the process by skipping the APA precisely because they're worried about that and want to get ahead of other schools.

Anonymous said...

Re: Skipping the APA

It's no mere rumor or empty hypothesis. Based upon the status of jobs from the main wiki site, these schools appear to be searching APA-less this year:

Arizona State
Augustana College
Cal State-Sacramento
Denver University (but interviewing at AHA)
Loyola-New Orleans (but interviewing at AHA)
UNC-Chapel Hill (? - post for arch. is ambiguous)
University of Oregon

That's seven so far. I'm sure there will be more.

Now obviously all job searches can't be in sync with each other, and there is surely an element of competition for the top candidates, but if the market becomes a free-for-all there will be havoc.

drusilla said...

APA Skipping:

Cal State-Sacramento
Denver University (but interviewing at AHA)
Loyola-New Orleans (but interviewing at AHA)

Are these Classics searches or History searches? If the latter, then they shouldn't count statistically, really. Or should they? Since the AHA is the same time, and they don't have the resources to do both conferences, then they aren't "skipping" the conference, they are merely holding interviews at a different conference.

This is not to say that this sort of arms race isn't potentially bad, but I don't know if some of the schools cited are part of the problem.

Of course, from the applicant's side, the fact of the arms-race at least might be evidence that overall we are in a better position, even if the structural response sucks.

Anonymous said...

I might have posted this twice....

I think the APA skipping really makes the market worse for the majority of candidates, namely those who are not "top" candidate but more in the middle.

When a school skips the APA interview stage, or replaces it with something superficial like a phone interview (or an "email interview," whatever that is!), it amounts to saying that they are selecting candidates for campus interviews based on their c.v.'s. It eliminates any chance for other candidates to get into contention through a face-to-face interview, or by giving a good talk at the conference.

I think it's disappointing if schools are responding to the large number of jobs this way. Why can't they deal with the situation by giving consideration to candidates other than the top 3 in the field they're looking at? Would that be so terrible?

Sorry, I'm ranting a bit....

Anonymous said...

On the matter of identifying the newest posts (mentioned back up at 11/30 1:34 PM), I don't have a blogger fix but I did want to note that you can subscribe to a feed for the comments for a particular thread.

Anonymous said...

**Penn Ancient History**

Can somebody please say what is going on with this search? Has it really evolved into a Roman Republic or Empire position? If so, how does this happen?

Anonymous said...

I agree that this APA skipping is a disturbing trend. It's bad enough that Classics job searches are not centralized and place the burden of application costs upon the candidate (as opposed to, e.g., searches for law professors, where you send one application to a central clearing house and they distribute all of your materials to schools at no additional cost). Now we have to worry about even more protracted timetables because schools are trying to hire *before* APA. This will throw off many candidates' ability to negotiate for better wages, star-up perqs, etc. Welcome to academic capitalism at its finest.

The "email interview/questionnaire" means that Augustana asked candidates to answer three questions via email. They were standard interview questions: Why do you want to teach at a liberal arts college? How will you attract non-majors? What's your take on inter-discplinary teaching? Apparently they used these responses to whittle the long list down to the short list. Their department has no dedicated Classicist, so they may not be aware of usual protocol. (I recall Occidental running into a similar problem a few years ago.) Or they may be trying to beat the competition. It does look to be an unusual year for the market.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the APA interviews are a US-centric process, anyway -- very few Canadian schools interview there, for instance. And those that do don't *require* applicants to be at the APA. I personally would prefer that all of the schools conduct phone interviews or go straight to on-campus visits; among other things, I think the APA interview stage encourages schools to "long-list" a bunch of candidates who really have very little chance, trumpet their "diversity", and then invite the same three for campus visits that they intended to all along.

That said, I agree that the variety of practices is the problem -- the time frame is both too extended and too variable. I don't really have any suggestions for fixing it, though.

Anonymous said...

A couple of reactions to previous posts: a distinction should be made between schools that are not conducting preliminary interviews at the APA and schools that are attempting to make offers in December or early January. It is not uncommon for schools to skip the APA, esp. if the position is for e.g. a historian, philosopher, or comparative lit scholar. Institutions will sometimes send a few committee members to the APA for one day; but many opt to do phone interviews.

With regard to the potential problems of offering positions before other schools have finished their searches, this also has a long history. Perhaps the best example is Harvard, but many other institutions are taking it up as well. If anything, these early offers work strongly in favor of a candidate if they have other real possibilities, because they increase the "desirability" of the candidate. They also force other institutions to act quickly and decisively--in my experience, always an advantage for the candidate. Much, much more problematic are cases where a search committee comes to a candidate in April or May with an attractive offer--after that candidate has accepted another job elsewhere.

Ethical issues aside, academic contracts are not binding and there is no penalty for breaking the contract. Pragmatically, no institution can ever "trap" someone with an early offer. One need only ask for time to decide. Institutions may grumble and push for a quick decision; but once they've decided to hire you, they will usually give you whatever time you want (this can be as long as 2-3 months). That said, many candidates accept early offers and are delighted to be finished with their searches.

Have you hugged your Minotaur today? said...

I think the idea of a central clearing house is a great one! What if the APA set up a secure site where candidates could upload their entire portfolio electronically: letters or rec, transcripts, teaching evals, syllabi/silluba, etc. etc. etc.?

A candidate could give an unlock code to the search chair of each job they wished to apply to, and the hiring dept could then pull whatever parts of the file they desired, when they wanted it. No more calls for more materials, no more issues of timing, hundreds of dollars on postage, reams of paper for departments to burn. I like it. I'm sure there will some security issues, but given how easy it is to scan things, paper documents are now subject to instantaneous digitization anyway.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the only people who really know what is going on with the Penn history search are the actual members of the search committee. They are unlikely to violate the integrity of their search by commenting on rumors, so it's probably best to assume the search is as advertised and not obsess too much about undocumented rumors. Penn has a pretty strong track record of running open-minded searches: last year they looked at both junior and senior candidates with a wide range of specialties. They always write pretty open ads and their shortlists are usually eclectic.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that Penn's search last year was quite as transparent as we might like to believe. At least one candidate was invited to campus a long time before the position was ever advertised.

Even if Penn is searching with an open mind this year, given that they already have an Empire specialist, it would certainly make sense for them to hire someone working on the Republic.

Mr. Wiggles said...

Re: Toronto history search

Some more details, since someone asked about this way above: they asked if they could share my file with the rest of the faculty (they have to do this for legal purposes, apparently; this does not include the rec letters - the chair said that only the committee members get to see those); they also asked for any further research (dissertation or otherwise). Finally, they mentioned that they would be meeting in early December to draw up a "short list."

My understanding is that Toronto generally goes straight to campus visits without interviewing at APA, but I don't know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Toronto? yes, I know the dep very well, and they always bring people on campus. NOTE: there is the wife of someone in there who needs to be placed. Dep not new to these things

Anonymous said...

Re: Toronto. I'm not entirely clear what the last comment meant. Are you saying that there is a T-T person working at the Classics department at Toronto who is trying to get his wife hired in that Greek history/material culture position? Is there any evidence that they wrote the advertisement tailored to her interests and qualifications?

Anonymous said...

yes, u got it.

Anonymous said...

as for the evidence, nobody in there will say it to your face, but all points to it (see also last yr's hire in Latin Literature, a family business)

Anonymous said...

wonderful. why can't departments just work spousal hires out with the dean? if they're reasonably qualified, just give it to them. then the rest of us don't have to waste time, money, and energy. plus, even if you were to get hired over the spouse, you're going to feel bad around your new colleague whose partner didn't get the job. seriously, i think the dean and department chair should decide whether the spouse is qualified and hire him/her without advertising and going through a job search.

Anonymous said...

Did Toronto only ask for dissertations as further material? That in itself seems odd; there are surely a number of more advanced but still junior candidates for that kind of job.

Anonymous said...

So someone has now altered the Penn entry on the wiki to say it's open rank and specialty. I thought we went over this with the Berkeley entry already, but some more details - as opposed to "Penn runs fair searches" - would be useful. Did someone who knows _for sure_ the search is open edit the wiki?

Anonymous said...

A Penn faculty member changed the wiki and that they are earnest about this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dr. Penn Faculty Member! This is exactly how it should work (information updating and input), with one exception. In the future, just update beneath rather than delete. I understand it is frustrating to see misleading information in public, but it is better to have that and your correction than to start a deletion battle. But, to reiterate, thanks for doing this, and for claiming responsibility. I'd say that concludes our chapter of Penn Mystery Monday. Good night and Good luck!

Anonymous said...

re: Penn "Open field & rank"

So does this declaration from a faculty member at Penn change the parameters of their search? Or is it still a position for an historian?

I didn't apply (I do poetry) - so now should I?

Sure, wiki-flexibility is a good thing, and then this happens...

Anonymous said...

Surely the Penn thing must be open field and rank within ancient history, since that is what the entry above stipulates, and what is reflected in the original ad.

Anonymous said...

Re: the Penn ancient history search-- just to clarify officially in my capacity as chair of the search: the field and rank are indeed genuinely open. I can't imagine where the rumor started that we were really only looking for one thing or another, but it's good to have a forum to set things straight. Sorry about my entry in the wiki--I was new to the format, but now I know better! So, just to reiterate: Penn ancient history search is absolutely open with regard to field and rank. Feel free to email me with any questions: rrosen@sas.upenn.edu.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for weighing in on this, Ralph. Hopefully more search chairs will use this forum to clip the wings of such rumors.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'll break the silence. Has anyone else noticed that the wiki is GONE?

Anonymous said...

wiki withdrawl....

Anonymous said...

**Wiki Vandalism**

This has been a problem all over this site, not only for Classics. It has gotten so bad that the Psychology folks pulled up stakes and left.

I will try to restore it to the last real edit, with formatting. A complete pain in the ass for all involved, and a sobering example of the vulnerability these open-source sites have to bad actors.

If the vandalism keeps happening then we might have to follow Psychology, or update stuff here. Can the administrator offer any advice?

Anonymous said...

OK. Wiki fixed. For now.

Wiki Tiki Tavi said...

Many thanks for fixing the wiki and restoring the old formatting.

Is it just me, or does it seem like there should be more job stuff posted already? I wonder if the early Thanksgiving is delaying our results.

Drusilla said...

Maybe we should put official updates in the comments here as well, in case the wiki keeps getting screwed with. That way the information keeps flowing regardless.

Servius, will this work, or will it make Famae too unwieldy?

Anonymous said...

merde - there goes the wiki again...

Anonymous said...

The wiki is gone again....

Anonymous said...

Maybe those of us who find the wiki useful should take a vow to save copies every so often to combat the disappearance problem? I looked in my browser history, but it's gone there too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe those of us who find the wiki useful should take a vow to save copies every so often to combat the disappearance problem? I looked in my browser history, but it's gone there too.

Anonymous said...

Well, in update news while the wiki is down:

U Michigan LatinLit, rejection (em), 12/5 (very nice)

I'm really outraged by the wiki vandalism, although at least it seems like there's little reason it's necessarily a classicist, as it's happening to nearly all the other academic job wikis too.

So I will continue to believe that you are all sane and reasonable people who have better things to do with your time, and there's some prankster 15-year-old out there who's messing with all of us.

Anonymous said...

I found a copy on my computer from yesterday evening, so I've put that back up. Any changes since yesterday afternoon or evening may need to be updated.

Anonymous said...

Our wiki site has been removed by someone in Dekalb, Illinois with this IP address:

71.244.215.187

(Through Verizon)

Said vandalist has also deleted the wiki lists for Theology, Comparative Literature, and Economics.

If this is a static address, we can track this individual.

Anonymous said...

OK, I've got it back up with formatting, and with the Michigan Latin Lit update (sorry to hear that!)

I am going to explore moving it to a more secure sight, one with password protection (but a password any classicist worth their salt will be able to figure out).

Does this sound like a good idea to all?

Old Oligarch said...

In this day of Google, any non-classicist can probably figure out any password easily enough.

Hey, here's a suggestion: vaguely phrase the password question as "The last name of the person who sends out those bimonthly e-mails we all receive." Anyone who doesn't know the answer to that is too dumb to deserve a job. (They might have to check the spelling, though.)

Anonymous said...

hey, who did the restore that messed up the formatting i worked so hard to keep!? :-)

do i have to go in there again?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, that may indirectly have been me - the vandalist deleted everything again post your formatting changes, and I restored from an unformatted version. I'll keep my fingers to myself and let you take care of it.

OTOH, there's a limit to how much energy you should spend trying to fight this jerk.

Servius said...

I've been away and completely unaware of the havoc taking place on the wiki! If this keeps up we will have to move the wiki to Dick Cheney's bunker.

In the meantime, I will do two things. First, I will put up a link to a copy of the last good version of the wiki so that we can see where we stand as of now, without worrying about it being deleted. Second, I will open up another posting page on the blog dedicated to job search updates. Updates put in comments here will not be deleted, so we won't have to worry about losing further information.

Given how easy it is to fake an IP address, it is unlikely we will be able to stop who is responsible. We could try cruising Dekalb, Illinois in the hopes of seeing some mouth-breathing moron wearing an "I Hate Academics" T-Shirt, but the chance of success seems low there, too.

Anonymous said...

The wiki is gone again (as are about six others), removed by the same vandal at the IP address noted above.

We definitely need something more secure.

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, I've just emailed Verizon regarding the vandalism. I'll post here any responses I receive.

Anonymous said...

In response to some of the comments above:
there are no spouses/partners/inside candidates in the applicant pool for the University of Toronto History and Material Culture job.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to whoever created the new wiki site!

Anonymous said...

Gee thanks, Lafayette College - did anyone else just get the annoying letter about how your application is incomplete and they've already picked the people they'll interview, but out of the kindness of their hearts they will allow you to re-send your material, so you can waste some more time/postage?

Anonymous said...

Did Lafayette say they'd possibly add you to the interview list if you get your stuff in? In other words, they actually would like to interview you, but since the file is incomplete they cannot get approval from the higher-ups?

Or was it simply, "Thanks for not quite playing, and all the best wishes for your future prospects!"?

Anonymous said...

Lafayette said "As only the gods know what will happen, there may be a chance that we will need or want to review your full application." It was a form letter...

Drusilla said...

Maybe Lafayette is using a Sortes Virgiliana in order to come up with a short list.

It seems like as good a method as any other.

Pitharoulis said...

Green interviews may just turn out to be the wave of the future, permitting both applicants and interviewers essentially unlimited time in an relaxed atmosphere to talk and to explore in detail things like unpublished research, teaching interests and methods, and approach to the field (methodology), but with none of the limitations of the rather strained hotel-room venue, which include among many, APA-defined constraints of space and time, and scheduling conflicts of both candidates and committee members.

Anonymous said...

I've had phone interviews before and they were pretty superficial compared to APA interviews. They also had the same time limits, for the same reason: The committee was doing all the phone interviews in one afternoon and had to follow a schedule based on appointments arranged ahead of time.

If "Green interview" means video conferencing, I have to confess I've never done that. What do they do, mail you a camera?

Anonymous said...

I would imagine that if SCs want to conduct 'green' interviews, they would ask you to go to your local Kinko's, where there are video conference services available for public use. Kinko's can charge the department's purchasing card for the interview.

Anonymous said...

For video conference interviewing, most university campuses now have video conference equipment and/or rooms available to block. I haven't done it before either but it was really very easy to contact the academic technology people at my current school to arrange the time and to learn how the equipment works. I am quite looking forward to the experience and prefer it to another cramped and awkward APA interview.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else feel like this weekend was the calm before the storm? Surely this week will be the time that the rest of the schools will contact us for APA interviews, right?

I've had to buy like ten packs of gum to keep from biting my fingers off, I'm so damn nervous! Agggghhh. Email me, damnit!

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:31:

Calm before the storm is right! No amount of gum will get me through this week.

The Other Finalist said...

Watching the wiki and reading this Blog makes me feel like I am taking part in a never-ending and especially cruel game on the Price is Right. You know the ones.

The audience members are shouting out absurd answers, the poor sucker on stage is baffled and terrified, and Bob Barker is smiling and trying to be helpful. Meanwhile, various price tags are falling, making you realize that time is running out and you are going to be screwed.

It is so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Great analogy - getting dozens of APA interviews yet never getting the campus invite must be akin to the poor schlep who gets called to "come on down" but can never get out of the price-guessing pit.
And I've definitely been in the situation where you might as well spin a random wheel to produce the final offer (from both sides, I might add).

Anonymous said...

Dozens of interviews? Am I that unloved?

Seriously, does that happen? I believe the record last year was 18 (not me.)

Feel free to brag anonymously if you are the starlet of the year; I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

I've never had more than 6 but I know people who have had double-digits.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure I knew somebody last year who had 19. But maybe it was 18, now I'm not sure. For some reason 19 always stuck in my mind.

18, 19. It was alot. She went a bit cuckoo trying to deal with them all.

About 10 years ago another student had 9 and it seemed like an amazing number then. So perhaps this means that the market really is getting better.

Anonymous said...

Re: numbers of interviews

I know three Hellenists who at the APA in January 2006 each had 14+ interviews. None was finished, none had published a thing, and none was from an Ivy. Each landed a TT job that year.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, I had over 21 scheduled interviews at the APA (it was a particularly good year for my general field and I had applied for a wide range of jobs). I was finished, but worked in a non-canonical part of my general field. I thought I would be lucky to have 5-6 interviews and was shocked to have made so many interview lists (the year before, without PhD in hand, I had 4 interviews). It was the most miserable experience of my professional life (not helped by the fact that I became very ill a few weeks before the APA). I was exhausted by the end of the first day of interviews, and struggled to stay focused in interviews when so many were back to back. I remember going back to my room in tears and wondering what would happen if I just ran out and flew home. I also had a large number of on campus visits. By the time the search was over, I had a very good t-t job but also required several months to recover from the experience of the search.

It was obviously flattering to have so many interviews, but I am quite sure that it was a disadvantage in the end. Obviously, it's nice to go into the APA/AIA with some possibilities, but 6-7 interviews is more than enough, but not so many that you can't be "up" and focused for each conversation. I know it's hard to believe, but if you want to maximize your chances of landing a job, you should be dreaming of 7-10 interviews, not 20!

Sallust said...

Are there more AHA interviews out there than in times past, or is this par for the course? Is it just a really good market for Ancient Historians, or is this evidence that Ancient Historians are getting hired more and more by History departments, and less and less by Classics departments?

Also, if you are already locked and loaded for the APA, and you are then offered an AHA interview, what is the proper way to deal with this?

Thanks!

Bob Barker said...

Are we at the showcase showdown yet or are we still spinning the big-ass wheel?

Not Vanna White! said...

We are still spinning the wheel. But when we get to the APA interviews, they will look much like this:

Bob Barker: "Please show our lucky contestant what they will be playing for next!"

Ed McMahon, Offstage: "A NEW CAR!!!"

cue music: duh tah dahhhhhhh ... tuh dah dehhhhhhh .... tah teh dehhh duuhhhhh teh tehhhhh taahhhh ...

Ed McMahon, Offstage: "A brand new, 1981 Chevy Nova Fastback. Power steering, power locks, disc brakes, bucket seats and a powerful eight-track cassette player. California emissions compliant, and all yours, If The Price Is Right!!"

Bob Barker: "Now Jennifer, take a deep breath, and tell us how you can make our students excited about Macrobius, and so much more.

Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili said...

Based on the heading, I see that this section has now become Pravda with a dash of silly comments.

Livy said...

Dear Sallust:

RE: "there more AHA interviews..."

Having had in the past an up-close look at a history department at a state university where there was no Classics dept., I learned that ancient history was their biggest cash cow because it draws larger enrollments in freshman surveys than even modern historical subjects. Funding not only of the department but also the university depended there ultimately on enrollments and I suspect that kind of pressure is typical. I think Classicists, Egyptologists, Assyriologists, Indologists, Sinologists, etc. will do well to have a training in "ancient world history" (in addition to their narrow specialization). As more people attend college and state funding doesn't keep pace, I suspect ancient history jobs in history departments will continue to multiple. Still, that's based on general intuition and talking to people at one place, so take it for what it is.

livy said...

oops. I guess my last post would have make more sense on the "professional developments" thread.

Sallust said...

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Livy.

I don't think "world history" is even offered where I am, but I do think I am going to be better about looking at the AHA lists in the future!

Anonymous said...

Last year I was at a place that had me teach a cross-listed history and classics course that was equally divided into units on the Ancient Near East, Pharaonic Egypt, Greece and Rome. The first half was brutal (let's just say there was some autodidactism involved), but I'm stronger for having done it. I have to think that other schools must have similar intro-level courses, and candidates who while in grad school managed to take a course on Egypt or the ANE will have a leg up on the competition.

Anonymous said...

"candidates who while in grad school managed to take a course on Egypt or the ANE will have a leg up on the competition."

I wish this was true, but my personal (so entirely anecdotal) experience has proven otherwise on the job market.

Anonymous said...

This is why it's so difficult to get hired unless your interests fall firmly into familiar territory for departments. For better or worse, departments typically hire those whose interests they are familiar with. So even though a particular job description might describe you to a T, giving you a leg up presumably, a history department will hire a familar historian who dabbled in the Near East versus someone who's truly fluent in both. In the end, it's compartmentalization of minds we have to fight as much as "departmentalization." This relates to the topic of why so many "classical archaeology" positions are filled by philologists who don't have ongoing or recent projects overseas.

Anonymous said...

I am curious as to how many schools are using online job application systems vs. good old fiber ware. Any data or thoughts on this?

Anonymous said...

re: paper vs. electronic applications

I've submitted 38 applications so far this job season. (I take the shot-gun approach.) Only two of these were electronic: U. at Buffalo & Stanford Humanities post-doc. This seems on par with past years.

What I have noticed about this season's postings is how few schools ask for materials besides a letter, CV and writing sample. And even few schools wanted a writing sample! In years past I've also had to send out a statement of my teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, students evals. - you know - the works.

I think that as the number of us needy applicants increases search committees have little need for the extras and can choose to be picky. I know that postings for one-year jobs are receiving more than 75 applications. Surely of that number enough stand out even without writings sample and teaching materials. And by standing out I mean having a PhD for three or more years, a few publications and loads of teaching experience.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Anonymous said...

I actually like that schools ask for less. I dislike schools asking for a transcript prior to being short-listed. Waste of money for something they don't really need until they actually want to hire you.

Anonymous said...

I think places are wising up to the fact that all of these materials are unnecessary for making first-round cuts.

And yes, the fact that 1-year positions are now getting 90-100 applications, while good T-T jobs will receive 140+ has something to do with it!

How MLA SCs deal with 500+ applications is beyond me.

Why can't we move to a completely on-line service, where applicants could upload the dossier and then schools could download whichever materials they are interested in?

Anonymous said...

About the 3 years of experience -- that's the outside limit here for an 'entry level' position -- more than 3 years full time teaching experience beyond the PhD and we are not allowed to interview a candidate for an entry level TT position. We might be able to make the argument for someone with 4 years (full time experience beyond the PhD) but that's about as far as we can press.

Anonymous said...

re: anon. 3:11

That's very interesting...what sort of school are you talking about? (No names, but don't be shy.)

So for your school, someone who had been done for four years is too experienced for an entry level position?

Anonymous said...

We might be able to make the argument for someone with 4 years (full time experience beyond the PhD) but that's about as far as we can press.

I'd like to know the logic behind that considering I've heard it takes 5-7 years on average for someone in humanities to land a TT and considering this would penalize people who have had a series of multi-year contract positions (becoming more common) instead of having a TT right away.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:11 - but do you consider applicants out for more than 3 years for advanced assistant professor positions? And does your school really mean entry-level when it says that? It seems like a lot of places - again in response to the high number of highly qualified but out for a few years applicants - like more advanced but junior applicants, since they can be tenured more quickly and their prospects of getting tenure are more evident (i.e., not a blank slate fresh out of grad school).

Anonymous said...

So is there a legitimate reason for this policy, or is it tacit age discrimination? There was a panel on the subject at least year's meetings. It was attended by a lot of department chairs, and many eyes were opened to the fact that it is illegal to shun candidates because they are viewed as too old. (And apparently some SC members do check the year of college graduation to get a sense of a candidate's age.)

Ironically, some of the people who engage in these practices would probably be aghast at not hiring someone because she's a woman, or because he/she is lesbian/gay, etc.

Library Bound said...

Regarding the 3-year-plus discrimination:

It seems like this is less likely to be age discrimination per se than the (misguided) notion that too many years out without landing a tenure-track position implies that the person is past their sell-by date. I've heard of this in other disciplines, and hoped that Classics wasn't like this. But maybe not.

Maybe Dr. Three-Eleven (c'mon folks, name thyselves!) can comment further. Is the institution a major R1 by any chance?

Anonymous said...

I think it varies with the school and how the department negotiates the hire with the deans. I know someone who was on an SC for a tenure-track assistant professorship and he told me that they were told only to interview people who were "already professors somewhere else" -- obviously not fresh Ph.D.'s And this wasn't even a particularly good school.

My impression is that this is more the normal attitude. I've been told that most people do a few temporary lectureships or VAP posts before they get the t-t job.

Anonymous said...

Ok, sorry to have thrown what appears to be a bomb and left the building. We are not R1, we are a comprehensive university that values teaching slightly higher than research (gasp). The university doesn't make senior hires (so far, but that may change). Everyone has to undergo at least 2 reviews pre-tenure (so the most one could get is 2 years credit toward tenure).

I suppose every school defines 'entry level' for itself, but it means what it says -- 'entry' i.e. beginner. It's not age discrimination because we have interviewed candidates who took PhDs a bit later in life (40s), nearly hired one (who went elsewhere). It's not 'sell by' because we, like you, recognize that the job market can be a crap shoot. I think it has more to do with a school where teaching is highly valued and there is concern that it is hard to adapt to an institution like ours after long apprenticeships at institutions very different than ours. And in a small department we need someone who can make it work.

We deal with policies and administrators the best we can, play the angles, make cases for candidates we feel strongly about, stamp our feet. Sometimes we can push the rules, sometimes not.

Anonymous said...

I think it has more to do with a school where teaching is highly valued and there is concern that it is hard to adapt to an institution like ours after long apprenticeships at institutions very different than ours.

I find this to be a rather bogus reason considering the person being excluded may have taught for 4 or 5 years at 2 or even 3 universities that could have been similar to your in a number of ways. This person would be far more adaptable than someone who had been a TA in grad school or taught 3 years at a single school after that. If it is a school that values teaching, good experience should be valued all the more highly instead of shunned. If this is really the reason, it seems rather unsound.

The Other Finalist said...

OK, I'll ask the question no doubt other party people are just dying to ask.

Is that it? Has the clock struck midnight? No more invitations to the big dance?

When is the latest I should hold out hope? When should I cancel the hotel, beg for the airline voucher, and crawl into the bunker?

I'm fine with it. Really! More time to hang out with friends and family in a warm climate.

Anonymous said...

Well, people have talked about getting invites as late as Dec 26th. Particularly if you applied to any of the December due-date places, I'd give it another week, not that I'm promising anything.

Anonymous said...

I've had invites the night before the conference. It's never over.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, don't back out of the conference because you don't have any interviews scheduled! I too have received very late interviews. And as you can see, there are still a ton of places that haven't contacted anyone, especially the short term jobs.

Anonymous said...

I also know people who have picked up interviews while at the conference itself. Seriously. One of them even got the job.

Anonymous said...

I got a last minute interview on the last day that resulted in a campus interview (but not the job). And (on an older thread) I also got an interview from the placement book when a place didn't like the pool they got (and I got that job).

Kleon said...

"I also know people who have picked up interviews while at the conference itself. Seriously. One of them even got the job."

I don't mean to sound like a jerk here ... But were they wearing bell-bottoms and dancing disco at the time? Does this really happen any more?

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think these are mere remnants of the old days when it was relatively common for conferences to serve as clearing houses for jobs that weren't filled by a phone call from an advisor.

Anonymous said...

This still happens! Last year I got an interview at the conference that led to a campus interview. It can happen.

Anonymous said...

Does this really happen any more?

Last year a friend of mine, an ABD, got two additional interviews while at the APA. The year prior, Janice Segal began a random conversation with someone who happened to be on th SC for Hampden-Sydney. He asked her if she wanted to interview, she did and they subsequently offered her the job.

These are just ones I know of. It has never happened to me.

so many dossiers, so little time! said...

Don't give up hope yet!

I am right in the middle of reading a whole stack of files, and we won't meet as a department until later in the week. We feel bad about sending out invites so late, but we couldn't have given each file our full attention otherwise. So, one of you might well be in our pile of APA invitees, who knows.

Regardless, best wishes on the hunt to each of you!

Anonymous said...

I've heard of one troublesome SC member who likes to invite people he meets at the APA and takes a shine to to interview, thus inconveniencing his colleagues no end. Which I'll bet does the candidate no favors.

Still. Alas, they haven't had a position in a few years.

Anonymous said...

Having been on an SC in the recent past, it was our policy that if we didn't think the interviews went well, we would request interviews with our "second shortlist" of candidates on the last day of the APA. It is really true that no matter how good someone looks on paper, s/he might clearly not be a good fit for your university/department in the end, and if all ten people we interviewed had not been up to par in this way, we would definitely have sought out new interviews. So, I am encouraging all of you out there on the job market not to despair if you have not heard about interviews yet. Also, no search is over until it is over, and so even in the spring you might find yourself in a better position than you can imagine right now. The lead-up to this awful conference is so stressful (I know since I was there only a few years ago), so please, take it easy on yourselves....

Anonymous said...

For those of you waiting on Rutgers, I've heard that they are already doing job talks for their multiple inside candidates. Don't know what that means in terms of APA interviews.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know any further information about Rutgers and/or about how you know this. Their department website doesn't show any talks taking place in December.... did you mean that they are already scheduling job talks? And if this is an open secret, who are the multiple inside candidates?

Anonymous said...

Rutgers is not exactly a huge department... how many "inside candidates" could they have?

Anonymous said...

O Sweet Baby Jayzuz, I can see where this is headed, and 'taint purtty.

Howls O' Outrage --> Aggrieved Rutgers Faculty --> Grumble, Grumble, Grumble --> "Play nice!" --> Oblivion

Where's the beef Anon 9:20? Are said talks scheduled for after the APA? If so, no biggie.

Anonymous said...

Rutgers hasn't even acknowledged receiving applications, and they're scheduling talks? For shame...

Their search from last year failed. What were they looking for? A junior to senior Hellenist? I applied, they said they'd get back to me, never did. Perhaps the current search is related to that one?

Rutgers was recently listed as one of the ugliest universities in the USA. No lie. Google it. I'm just sayin'.

Jersey Girl said...

Sorry to piss on the fire before the smores get going and the hot chocolate gets spiked...

This rumor is false. No job talks scheduled yet. There are a few VAPs currently teaching here, but there are no "inside candidates" in the sinister sense of the word.

Look up "class act" in Webster's, or the OED. You'll see the name "Corey Brennan".

Nuff said.

kataplexis said...

Does anyone actually have confirmable evidence either way in the Rutgers search? Not that I'm holding my breath, but having not yet received confirmation that they received my app, I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing sinister about an inside candidate despite how those of us who are on the outside feel about the situation.

There is however something very sinister about a search that is a sham. I have no desire to cast aspersions but there is something fishy when rumors start to fly about job talks when no APA interviews have been scheduled and applications haven't even been acknowledged. But if as you say there are no talks "scheduled yet" and that there is some "class act" in the mix, then I guess the rest of us outsiders shouldn't be worried?

Realize that thanks to the wiki and APA we'll all know who gets the job in the end. We'll then see if there was an insider or not.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh. If you've been paying attention, you'd know that this wouldn't be the first false rumor on these boards. And much as I don't like the way many departments don't give us the courtesy of a response to let us know our applications were received, Rutgers certainly isn't alone in this, so the lack of a plus sign next to their name on the wiki is irrelevant. And Corey Brennan IS a class act. And, based on some information from an outside source a few weeks ago, I have reason to believe that this search is not fixed.

Anonymous said...

so the lack of a plus sign next to their name on the wiki is irrelevant.

So that's what the plus sign means!

Anonymous said...

Your outsider information makes me feel so much better about the whole thing...

We'll see in the end.

Jersey Girl said...

There is nothing sinister about an inside candidate despite how those of us who are on the outside feel about the situation.

There is however something very sinister about a search that is a sham.


It was the latter situation that I was referring to as "sinister", while the presence of VAPs who might also apply for the opening is nothing of the sort. Sorry if I was unclear.

I complete agree, a sham search is terrible, and I wish there were a way to censure departments who engage in them. Seriously. It is utterly reprehensible and disgusting.

But Rutgers is not engaging in such behavior. This is a fact. What is more, Corey would never even dream of acting like that. He is much too professional, and just plain good-hearted, to do so. So, even if I didn't happen to know something, I'd still be willing place good money on bad acts not happening simply because Corey is involved.

And yes, we will see in the Spring!

Anonymous said...

Ummmm... Guess who emailed an APA invite?

Anonymous said...

Unless they want a 20 minute job-talk in a hotel suite in Chicago, I think that kills that.

Bam. Bam bam bam!

Cynical said...

I still don't believe it. It's all a ruse!

They saw us uncovering their little scheme and figured the best way to shut us up was to post on the wiki.

Clever, clever, clever, dear Rutgers faculty.


!! Just kidding :-) !!

I just wish I had gotten an interview. Oh well.

A VAP (who is not an inside candidate for a job) said...

RE: Rutgers.

There is nothing wrong with them holding the job talks for any current VAPs before the APA. They would likely be given a pass on teh APA portion of the interview process later. If Rutgers still plans on bringing the standard number of people to campus in addition to any qualified applicants already there, it makes sense from a scheduling angle. I don't see what the big deal is.

Anonymous said...

Dear VAP,

Scheduling job talks pre-APA is a big deal. It means that the candidate(s) (VAP or otherwise) are at stage two of the hiring process and have a leg up on the entire competition.

Say school X has two VAPs, both apply for the TT job, and both are asked to give job talks. What then does school X do at the APA? Interview ten people, and ask how many to campus? One? Three? How many will be enough to make the hire seem like it isn't a sham?

As with the Berkeley position even a hint of things being down behind closed doors casts the entire search in a bad light.

Sincerely,

Anon.

VAP said...

You still invite 3 people back. Then you just cram in 3 talks instead of 5 talks between Jan and Feb. It is a courtesy to the VAP to bypass the APA. I don't know. I'm a VAP at a school that is hiring but I'm not qualified for the TT position so I'm not in the running. But, if I were and they wanted me to do my job talk in December instead of Jan, who cares? It isn't like they hadn't already seen my teach or had lunch with me. Or like the Dean doesn't already know who I am. It doesn't give the VAP any better chance. In fact, it may actually weaken their chances since what they did will not be fresh in the minds of the committee. But, I only say this because I know quite a few VAPs who were inside candidates who didn't get the job because someone else ended up being the more appropriate choice for the department's needs. They were not given any unfair advantage. Many many jobs have what look like inside candidates for jobs. Doesn't mean anything in the end.

Anonymous said...

Insider confession: I've been an inside candidate three times and did not get the job.

But then, I'm not very good.

Anonymous said...

I also was an internal candidate and I didn't have a prayer. If you don't meet the qualifications of the position, you're not much better off than any other candidate.

In praise of inside candidates said...

I don't see what the fuss is about early interviews for VAPs, or for that matter, hiring "inside candidate" VAPs.

Early interviews: a) I don't feel any advantage because I was able to do early phone interviews for jobs when I can't go to the conference (e.g. the AHA) so why should they feel they have an advantage over APA interviewees?; b) it makes more sense for scheduling, why miss more panels at the APA than one has to, when the candidate is on campus every day?

Hiring inside candidates: a) has it occured to anyone that a VAP, by virtue of having taught at an institution already for one, may be the one with surest ability to teach there effectively? b) related to that, risk has to be a factor and we applicants are unknown quantities -- if a SC has an inside candidate that they know is good, it's totally rational for that knowledge to give the candidate an advantage, which is by no means unfair if fairness is defined as the SC doing their best to fill a position with someone most likely to make a positive contribution to their institution.

We ought to recognize that VAP can be stepping stones into something better and not denigrate that secondary market as a place for failures. Even worse would be to denigrate those dedicated VAPs rebound from inital setback at the APA, get stuck in that position but they manage to convert into a T-T and then must suffer from the scorn of those unproven candidates like me, who are fresh out of the gates.

Anonymous said...

There is no problem with a SC hiring the VAP currently on location, or even recently so. As long as it was a true, open, national search.

But when the search is a sham, and the SC is merely going through the motions, knowing full well that they will hire a certain someone at the end, that is the problem.

There are "inside candidates", meaning current VAPs, etc. They are not the ones under discussion. Then there are INSIDE CANDIDATES, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more say no more. The one's who are destined to get the job, no matter what. The ad, the APA interviews, the flyouts, they are completely meaningless. That, is bullshit.

So, let's be clear about the distinction. Yes?

Anonymous said...

For example:

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,44962.0.html

Anonymous said...

For example:

http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,44962.0.html

Anonymous said...

I'll call out a past search that was obviously a sham no matter how vehemently the department will deny it - Texas's search for an archaeologist and assistant director for their Institute of Classical Archaeology. The non-TT incumbent was so thoroughly entrenched, it's laughable that any other candidate, even those in TT jobs, would have dislodged him. There is is. Let's start hearing the weak defenses and accusations of slander.

Dyskolos said...

So what?!? There's something that you and some of the others on this forum don't seem to realize, and that is that every time one has a job interview, it is a potential opportunity to boost one's career. Even if the fix was in for that Texas job, the 10(?) or so other candidates who were interviewed got to have senior faculty, some of whom are very influential in the field, meet them, learn about their work, etc. And you know what? Anyone who made a good impression might benefit at some point down the road. Maybe Texas will have another opening, and someone will remember a candidate interviewed for that "sham" job search. Or maybe someone on the search committee will be talking with a colleague elsewhere whose school is conducting a non-sham search and say, "You know who would be really good? So-and-so, whose work really impressed us on the committee." And there are other ways you might benefit, without knowing about it -- for example, someone might one day sit on a committee that decides on grants, or a professorship at ASCSA, or some such thing. You never know.

Do you understand this, people? If you go into an interview and make a good impression on the committee, regardless of whether you are being seriously considered for that job there is a chance that you will somehow benefit.

So be glad to have the opportunity, and stop whining.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna call foul on anon 12:08.

What you meant to say was "the non-TT incumbent was so thoroughly EXCELLENT, it's laughable that any other candidate, even those in TT jobs, would have dislodged him."

There it is.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and I'm sure we'll hear the same thing when Berkeley's position gets filled, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Let's start hearing the weak defenses and accusations of slander.

I've got to hand it to you, anon 12:08. You were right on the money in more ways than one...

Sostratos said...

Ahh, I see. We need to stop bitching because, after all the time spent working on portfolios, sending materials, crafting letters, etc. etc. etc., we might, just might, get an APA interview! And then we might, just might, get a chance to impress the committee enough so that, at some point in the vague future, they might remember us?! And then we might get a "free" trip to some cool college town where we can ask questions about the public schools, library, etc. and start really getting our hopes up! It's such an opportunity! I'm so warmed and comforted by this teddy-bear vision of the process, it makes me want to run outside and make snow angels.
Dyskolos, you have got to be kidding. This is a serious business. Sham searches have no place in it. I suppose it is nice that you are concentrating on the bright side of things, but it doesn't begin to balance out the negative.
One, just one mind you, reason for insisting on open searches is so that we don't slip back into the dark ages of the Old Boy Network, where Herr Doctor Ivy Vater hands out jobs to his proteges like they were martinis. I can think of many more, equally good, reasons. But I have to go and prepare for my hopefully real APA interviews.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what's up with the Villanova search? The open-ness, very late posting, and February deadline are odd. I'm trying to figure out whether to dash out an app now or wait and see how APA goes.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to make any defenses of any institution hiring an "inside candidate" (I know for sure that the Texas job was not a sham, but I don't expect Anon 12:08 and followers to believe me, so I won't waste my time), but it bothers me that, when a job DOES go to an inside candidate, it is automatically assumed that that person is not worthy, or only got the job because they were an insider. Texas made a good choice; if the Berkeley job goes to the incumbent, it will also be a good choice.

It is simply not true that internal candidates get a break. In fact, it's a huge disadvantage (I speak as both a former internal and external candidate) in some ways: yes, you may be great at your job, but perhaps there is a poisonous colleague who doesn't like you and has enough power to make getting the job a huge effort for you, or, remember, your colleagues know your virtues - but they also know your faults, and they may be magnified by close association. Enough internal candidates don't get the job - even when they're a perfect fit - to bear my argument out.

Anonymous said...

Hey, here's an idea, O Bitter Ones: most institutions know when hiring a VAP if it'll turn into a TT job at some point, and that affects their decision. So THE inside candidate has already been through a round - where others could have gotten a job and then been THE inside candidate.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what's up with the Villanova search?

My assumption was that it got late approval from the higher-ups and decided not to try to rush and do the APA. I already applied though I have a good number of APA interviews. You can always withdrawal your app if you get an offer later.

Christos said...

Jeez, you guys still don't seem to get the difference between an inside candidate (VAP applying to a TT job in their current department) and an "inside candidate", i.e. an Anointed One.
The former is common, and is often harder on and a disadvantage to the insider. The latter is a sham, a set-up, the fix is in, going through the motions, notasearchatallintherealsenseoftheword.
Define your terms more clearly already!

Anonymous said...

How about "internal candidate" for the internal application, and "inside candidate" for the fixed job?

Anonymous said...

"Texas made a good choice; if the Berkeley job goes to the incumbent, it will also be a good choice."

The problem is when "great" is never seen b/c "good" is right in front of them. No department is stupid enough these days to move an incompetent insider into a TT position. The problem is that we live in the 21st century. We're busy and departments are becomeing less communal and more institutional. Any decent insider will have inertia on their side, so this entire idea of them being "good" is just another word for qualified. Easy, in my experience, usually wins over best.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with Texas' hire, but I can see the point made about an insider candidate. If the department is fairly certain that the best candidate is sitting down the hall, why not just hire him/her? To satisfy some decanal mandate that due diligence was done to find the "best candidate? It's a waste of everyone's time to rubberstamp the inevitable, or highly probable for you defensive ones.

Anonymous said...

If I apply and there is an internal candidate then I feel bad for the poor shmuck having to sit there as applications pour in, meetings held without them, etc. That just sucks. I don't feel bad for me, I feel bad for them. Really. Nobody wants to be an internal candidate.

If I apply and there is an inside candidate (who might be on another continent) who everybody has already decided will get the job, once the pesky "search" can be dispensed with, well, I not only feel bad for me, and everybody else who applied, but I am also downright mad. Mad at having wasted my time and energy, mad at the so-called "Search" Committee for basically lying to me. Mad at the whole clown show.

If there is a true inside candidate, just hire them already! Don't fuck with everybody's hopes, dreams, wallets and time. I don't need more "experience" interviewing, I need a damn job. I got rent to pay and kids clothes to buy.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention, when you walk down the hall and people suddenly stop the conversation they were having. Or the fact that no one asks you how your job search is going because it would be inappropriate....

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